Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Did We Do?

"What did we do to deserve this?"

This was a question asked of me by my 16 year old son. I sat on his bed and cried with him. He is going through a very rough break-up with his girlfriend. I know there are lots who would just brush this off as young love, but I want him to know that I will never make light of his feelings.

However...he was not just referring to the break up.

THIS that he refers to is the break-up of his relationship, his mom being ill, the break-up of his family, feeling abandoned by his dad. The list goes on and on for him. He wonders why he can't have just one thing in his life that is stable.

There is nothing I want more than for my kids to really love the Lord. When life circumstances stink it is easy to question God and His love. Even as an adult. But as a it's tough. I told him (David) that maybe God is trying to get his attention. Maybe David has turned his back on God and HE is trying to draw him back. Not that God wants us go through pain but maybe through the pain we will turn to the Lord. The only One who can really comfort.

So he asks what did we do to deserve this. I answer that WE did not do anything.

These next words are ones that I have said only to myself. I don't believe that teenagers want spirituality thrown in their faces when they are going through tough times. But I know that there was something for me to learn by David asking that question.

Why don't we ask "what did we do to deserve this" when great things happen? I don't deserve God's mercy and grace. I don't deserve God's forgiveness. I don't deserve to have been born into a Christ centered family. I don't deserve to have great friends. I don't deserve to live in America with all of its freedom.

God does not treat us as we "deserve" and boy am I grateful for that.

There are so many blessings in my life. I am able to see that and I pray that one day my children will see the blessings as well. For now, I keep loving, listening, praying, encouraging and wrestling this thing out.


Kim in NC said...

David and Ellie sure are blessed to have you as their mom! I'm convinced that because of my mom praying for me daily, Christ brought me back to Him.

Praying for you all, Sheryl.

UL Cards Fan said...

Forgive me Lord when I don't take praying seriously. Prayer definitely changes things, whether it be our circumstances or our heart and point of view.
Today I prayed continuously while my daughter was in a tense court situation and all was well. I pray Lord that I also praise You when the outcome is NOT what I have prayed for.
Lifting your whole family up Sheryl for healing and wholeness.
"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Love, Linda

Diana said...

Your faith and wisdom never cease to amaze me. What did your son do to deserve such an incredible mom who loves her children and the Lord enough that when it comes down to it, "having done all" she stands... stands in faith, stands on the truth, stands holding on to the hope that is Christ Himself.
I don't know "why" but I do know that your testimony is powerful and the Lord is glorified, continually.
I pray blessings, healing, restoration and continued strength over you all, in Jesus name.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is a great post, very touching and poignant. I'm saddened for your young son's trials. You are SO right, that God allows pain to get our attention, to get us focused back on him. A simple quote that I picked up somewhere but carry with me everywhere in my heart trying to remember: God is not concerned with our comfort but our character. That's deep but so true. Think of all Paul endured with that dog-gone thorn in his side not to mention the years in prison. Maybe David can gleam from that small phrase if you deem to share it.

I know what you mean about not asking why we deserve it when good things happen. I may not say it directly to God often but I do feel blessed in many of the things you stated. Simple American freedom, (physical and spiritual).

I remember when all my house dealings was going on...blessing after blessing...many through my realtor but by God. I kept saying, I don't deserve this God. I remember telling my small group that. Some stated, yes you do. I said, no, I don't. I deserve hell. Those making the comment that I do deserve it were babes in Christ and didn't really see the spiritual aspect of not deserving it. Instead thinking "I'm a good person" and deserve it. Even still, NO I don't deserve His goodness and all He did during that move and still does daily!!

Really touched by this and provoked my thoughts.

Leslie said...

It is so hard to watch our kids suffer. And it takes delicate handling to bring God into the situation without turning your kids off of Him. Your kids are fortunate to have you there to guide them. They may not have their earthly father where they want him, but they certainly have their Heavenly Father and you.

Praying for your family. Hugs to all of you.

Laura said...


I have said this to myself more times than I care to count but what I can say is this.. When I cant see his way I can trust his heart. But in a time like this with you children.. I don't have a answer cause I have never been where you are and that is ok. What I do know is that prayer as Linda says changes things! I am praying for you, lifting you up, and asking for GOD's presence to be so with you right now even as I type. I love you girl.

Under the Florida Sun said...

Beautiful post.

May your son find CHRIST as his all in all. May he find strength and courage in the arms of his Heavenly Father.

May you and your son be blessed this day.

Faye said...

My sweet Sheryl,This was a beautiful post! Thank-u for sharing.Tell David God has a plan for his life! Blessings, Faye

R.L.Scovens said...

You're holding onto your faith. That's the best thing you can do!

Cheri' said...

I think the way you sat on your son's bed and talked with him about the pain he is facing, has a lot more impact than you can see right now. Just the fact that he could ask you such an honest question shows the depth of your relationship with him. You're a good mom!

An author by the name of Paul Tournier said that "the greatest need every human being has, is to be understood" Just showing your son you understood his heart is a way of revealing God's love and concern for his life! You're doing a good job as a mom -- especially facing the circumstances in your life right now! Thanks so much for sharing!

I'm praying for you and your family!

God's girl said...

Praying for you

Heather of the EO said...

When I was a teen (and into my twenties) spirituality WAS thrown at me...

"only the Lord knows."

"Just trust the Lord."

At that age, it's really hard to grasp what the H that could mean. All they really need is for someone to truly listen and to really LOVE them in the midst of all their questions. That speaks more of the love of God than any cliche answers ever could.

You're an amazing mom. Sitting and crying with him, that's the very best thing you could do. You're an amazing example to me, even when you feel like you don't know what to do.


Kee said...

I know it's so hard and painful to watch your children go through hard times. But he has you as his mom, to care, listen, and love him through it all.

I pray that David will see that things trials have nothing to do with him and that his dad leaving was not about him at all. I know kids internalize that and think they did something to be abandoned.

I pray for peace to surround him and for continued wisdom for you to know how to deal with these situations. You are doing a great job as a mom but I know it's hard.

As always you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love ya

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

And David and Ellie will, because you have set the example for them, and with your Godly wisdom , and nurturing spirit they are going to come through stronger than ever. Know this you are not alone in this , there are to many praying people out here in blogland and I am one of them that lift you, David and Ellie before the throne of grace.

Pam said...

i totally hear you Sheryl. dealing with the same things you know. i look at my life and know that the struggles are the things that made me who i am today, yet i hate to see my kids struggle. just praying that all our kids find Him in the midst of the struggles.

my dad always says "life is not fair, we deserve death. we have so much more than we 'deserve'". hard for me to hear sometimes too, but how true... just like you say. praying for your family dear sister!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Ooooh, I ask that way too much myself.

I'm learning, though it's really hard, to just trust God and trust what he's doing, and not need to understand why "it" seems to be happening to me. I really wish that was easier.

Cheri' said...

I already posted a comment on here earlier, but was thinking of you as I was reading a book review on parenting. I thought it might be an encouragement to you and perhaps a thought you could share with your son.

The book is called "Pinocchio Parenting", and deals with lies that affect our parenting.

Most importantly, Borsellino wants his readers to know that the most dangerous lie is not one we tell our kids, but the one we tell ourselves. It's when we say, "I don’t matter." No doubt, this lie will rob parents who believe it of their ability to parent effectively.

The greatest proof that we do matter is the cross. Through Christ's act of unconditional love, God said, "You mean the world to me, even if the world says you don't matter." Not only is this one of the greatest truths that parents should embrace, but it's one they can share with their children, at any age or stage.

I really hope this encourages you! You really matter Sheryl -- and so do your children! You matter to many -- but especially to Jesus! I'm praying for you!

Mari said...

Hi Sheryl,
Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a very touching and good post. I'm stopping to pray for your family now.
PS - I live in Allendale - between Grand Rapids and Holland

Susan said...

Hey Sheryl,

What a GREAT mom you are and a WISE one at that.

I just love your heart and your great attitude.

I continually get blessed and encouraged each time I pass by.

Praying for you and your family♥

Technonana said...

Hi Sheryl... these are very hard question,and only God can give us answers to some of them... but the skinny is that God has given people "free will". That means that the things that people do are choices that they make. And God allows things to happen that we can never understand... but never believe that all the bad things are caused by God. My oldest daughter was raped when she was 19,that was not God's doing, that was man's.
We have a choice... we can chose to allow things to destroy us or we can chose to allow God to use them for His honor and His glory.

Amrita said...

I feel for you Sheryl. Its so hard to explain things like this, but what you said to David was right.

Many other people we think are happy and satisfied are inwardly struggling , maybe they don 't express what 's going on indside them.

Farmgirl Paints said...

You are such a good mama. Again sending prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your son is hurting, but I am very happy he has a mother who is there for him and a Father who will wrap him in his arms and give him his deep peace.

I pray this will come soon for you all.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

It's amazing that I would land on this blog today--I don't know your story, but I know that by your story you can just imagine how someone else feels as well. I really need to hear you today.

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

Y'know I was just thinking...back in Genesis God passed through the blood of the animal taking the curses and blessings of the Covenant he made with Abraham upon himself. When Christ died, God again passed through the blood of the lamb and took the curses and blessings upon himself. We never had to deserve it. We simply live within the hand of God who picked us up.